Roger Belland – 2016

Update 20.12.2017(27.11.2017)billn

Tasted in Santenay with Roger Belland, 18 October 2017.

Domaine Roger Belland
3 Rue de la Chapelle
21590 Santenay
Tel: +33 3 80 20 60 95

Roger on 2017:
It’s a vintage with good but not enormous production volume. We saw degrees (maturities), despite that those vines that were not frosted were very generous with their yields. In some places the 1er crus were rather early growing this year and it was a little too warm during the flowering, so the volumes can be lower here. This year was some frost damage in the Bourgognes.

Roger on 2016:
I think that 2016 is really a vintage that’s more serious and profound, it reminds a little of 2006 in Santenay. We had some cloud-cover, just like Puligny, so we had relatively few frost problems here. Of-course we weren’t problem free – our part of Morgeot was fine higher up, but lower down it was terribly affected by the frost.

“We used a little more whole-clusters this year – the grapes required hardly any triage, and all bottled now. The fruit was nicely ripe but not necessarily fresh, the use of the whole-clusters helped here, though with a little extra tannin too. Everything bottled before the harvest – both red and white.

The wines…

The wines this vintage are classic Roger Belland; tasty, chunky things with plenty of structure – in their own style they are delicious – I still have some 2005 and 2006s in the cellar – they are robust and tasty just like these 2016s are, and will be. But if you are looking for the elegance and purity of flavour that 2016 can offer, then there are better addresses for that.

2016 Maranges 1er Le Fussières
A big fruit-forward nose. Round, supple really a wine loaded with tasty fruit and a modestly growing structure. Nice finishing, big, very slightly rustic but absolutely tasty wine. Yum!

2016 Santenay Les Charmes
Bright red fruits over a slightly denser base. A little more structure, more melting flavour though. A wine to wait a little longer for, but this finishes with a good fresh fruit.

2016 Santenay 1er Comme
A little added freshness and fineness. Plenty of structure again the slightly drying tannin remains relatively fine and ripe. There’s a nice finishing energy too.

2016 Santenay 1er Beauregard
Nicer, fresher, more floral. Volume and freshness here with a little nicer texture too – lots of depth and still plenty of tannin, but a little more elegance here. String finishing flavour. yum!

2016 Santenay 1er Gravieres
Aromatically very similar to the last. Here fresh again, more energy though, the tannin is more of a textural drag than grain, more herb, more extract, almost chewy in the finish – long though. A wine to be more patient with.

2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos Pitois (Morgeot)
Deeper, darker but also glossier fruit with freshness. Fine silk before the tannin turns that to velvet. More muscle but a little fat too. A really mouth-watering and insinuating flavour. Waves of finishing flavour – this holds really well. Good medium term cellar potential too.

2016 Pommard 1er Les Cras
A small cuvee here.
A very nice aromatic freshness, though the aromas are still all rather similar. Silky entry, less growth of tannin, more muscle again but with a hint more weight. Really lovely on the palate – concentrated and muscular but the texture remains fine. Very nice… an extra finishing dimension of flavour. Here’s a hint of astringence but modestly so. Again good mid-term cellar potential.

2016 Volnay 1er Santenots
Higher up so avoided the frost.
More aromatic width, a little aspect of maceration, but the family style aroma of previous wines. Ooh, more line, less starting width – cool, impressive fruit – a wine with a more overt character. Small waves of finishing flavour – very nice… this is lovely…

Les Blancs…

2016 Santenay Comme-Dessus
Villages, but sitting above and around 1er cru Beauregard.
A modest but open nose with faint citrus with freshness. Supple, actually a very nice complexity here. Just a little savoury finishing. But the last flavours are delicious – very tasty wine with a nice tension.

2016 Santenay 1er Beauregard
A modest nose, slightly saline. Lots of volume and good concentration. The flavours more to the mineral side, but slowly there is a fine delicacy of spiced, citrus in the finish. It’s lovely.

2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos Pitois (Morgeot)
Ooh – a proper chassagne nose of muscle, freshness herb and citrus – very inviting. Fresh, not fat, good texture and really a good complexity of flavour – just a suggestion of oak. Lovely finishing energy. This is lovely.

2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Champs-Gains
Hmm this smells good – a pretty width with fine and precise yellow citrus notes. Hmm, lovely in the mouth, a subtle mineral/reductive character but fine and intense citrus too. Excellent with a nice tension. Really good. A pretty, almost saline, aspect to the minerality in the length.

2016 Meursault 1er Santenots
Hmm a nice fruit-forward nose – a great invitation. Big in the mouth, suave, fine textured, good energy despite the concentration, really a wine of ripeness but balancing freshness – melting finishing flavour, excellent!

2016 Criots Bâtard-Montrachet
Really a rather tight nose – a supple, subtle width that’s faintly spiced. Really a wine of pure minerality, this could be a warm year on the hill of the Chablis grand crus. Delicate but lots to find in the finish. I’m assuming this is tight after the bottling – others are more expressive. The nose is slowly opening but just a little more towards oak notes than other things. Intriguing wine, but with certainly enough balance to age.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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